Friday, August 30, 2013

SMILE! A Few Incredibly Helpful but Super Quick Tips on Potty Training

1) Lower your expectations. Whatever they are. Lower them. A bit more. A bit more. Ok good.

2) Get over it. The inevitable mess I mean. The pee in the car seat, the sudden accident right after your offer to go to the potty is vehemently turned down in the middle of Target, and the surprisingly large pile of poo left in the closet that you had to sniff-search for. Now go buy some stock in Febreeze and carpet cleaner. You're welcome.

3) Do the slosh test. That kiddo is gonna wanna carry the potty seat full of pee into the big toilet all on their own and you certainly wouldn't muffle their independence by saying no (riiiight?). Fill that potty seat up with water and go ahead and see how far you can make it go in a small area. Now you'll be prepared to identify the height and width of splashes when it's a potty full of pee. Just tell yourself that pee is sterile. It'll be ok. (Calm down. Don't really waste time doing this. If you do, while you're busy doing this your sweet child is probably going to be ripping a poo-filled diaper off or squatting happily on the rug.)

4) Giant feces. Surely by now you're over poo. You've probably seen a variety of colors, shapes, and textures. (Oh hush with the "Ewwww" you whiner.) Somewhere between 2 and 3 years old kids begin to develop a talent. This talent is creating the most gigantic turds you've ever seen in your time on earth.  This is why parents take their kids to the zoo. The dung in the elephant exhibit makes every parent feel better about the commode-clogging feces from their own talented spawn.

5) Lose the attitude. I don't care where anyone is on the potty training spectrum. From newborn elimination communicator pro all the way to the parent saying $#!& my kid is now 62 months old and is still scared of the potty. Knock on wood. Hold your tongue. Speak not. Ever heard of karma? Potty training regression is like karma for know-it-all potty trainers that think the fact their kid plopped a pile on the porcelain at 18 months means they win a prize. The only prize is that you did NOT have to fully change that would-be nasty diaper. This is a participation game people. Accept your "participation award" and move along. Let's all be glad that one day our kids will at least be too embarrassed for us to wipe their bums so surely they'll manage to figure it out by then.

6) Be prepared to accept a high five and a proud hooray every time YOU use the bathroom. It's a perk. Nothing wrong with that. Until your 3 year old is declaring "GREAT JOB POOPING, MAMA! You gotta flush! Did you wash your HAAAANDS?!" in the echo-prone public restroom.

7) Do whatever the heck works for you kids. We're teaching beings that would biologically prefer to squat by a bush alone to instead sit awkwardly on top of a large, cold ceramic bowl that makes a loud flushing sound. THEN we push it further by limiting the amount of time they get to splash in the sink and make bubbles. And we expect this to go well! So, by all means: bribe, reward, sing, dance, make a chart, and give yourself a cookie and when you've accomplished this task publish it on facebook!! (Muahaha now all the non-parents are freaking out about their feeds being covered in potty-success announcements accompanied by turd-in-bowl pictures. Calm down. You'll likely be giddily filling in your status bar with something similar one day. Really though people: turd-in-bowl is unnecessary.)

8) This is really a close follow-up to #5. Don't lick your fingers. Ok, really though. Poop and pee won't hurt you, friends. We don't rub our eyeballs or pick our noses whilst disposing of a certain toddler's mess, right? Feel free to make a face and congratulate the kiddo on their impressive odor but don't freak out over every (inevitable) mess.

9) Give yourself a *high five* if you thought I was building a potty training acronym for the word "SMILE".

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